He is 36 and single still, gone a little
slack. Gloves off, hands on his hips, he says
Every day is like walking into a diner
just before the kitchen closes.
My brother helps clear the scrub,
bury rubble, gather the dry brush
into huge fallen nests.
I watch the smoke obscure the field.
He takes his sentence, snaps it in two,
saves the driest words for the heart,
syllables that quickly catch.
When the whole thing goes up,
we stand apart, the silence
of boys watching fire erupt.
is a writer from Bowling Green, Kentucky
who loves the work of Charles Simic, Charles Wright, and a few other
non-Charles poets as well. His poetry can be found in recent or forthcoming
issues of Cincinnati Review, Prairie Schooner, Rattle,
and Greensboro Review.